IGP: Cybercrime more lucrative than drug trafficking

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 13 Apr 2017

PUTRAJAYA: Cybercrime is emerging as a serious economic threat in Malaysia, and losses amounting to RM179.3mil were recorded last year, said Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

"Cybercrime has surpassed drug trafficking as the most lucrative crime, with more than 70% of commercial crime cases now categorised as cybercrime," added Khalid.

He said that financial crimes are closely connected to cybercrime and are often committed via the Internet and have a major impact on the international banking and financial sectors.

"Indeed, financial crimes represent a serious corporate problem for Malaysian businesses as the number of fraud cases has increased considerably in recent years," said Khalid Abu Bakar.

"Unfortunately, this trend may likely continue given the way criminals draw on technology to commit fraud," he added at the "Evolving Threats of Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: The Malaysian Experience" seminar on Thursday.

He said that the police have set up the Commercial Crime Investigation Department in 2005 to overcome the challenges of financial crimes and deal with offences such as criminal breach of trust, fraud, forgery and counterfeiting, among others.

"Police have evolved in tandem with the new digital era. We have established a forensic computer laboratory to assist investigating officers in computer crime cases," Khalid said.

A special division has also been set up to investigate money laundering, terrorism financing activities and the recovery of proceeds from unlawful activities.

Khalid said unlike conventional crime, financial crimes are characterised by the high status of offenders - powerful, knowledgeable people.

"Tough and punitive laws are necessary to address the growing number of corporate criminal activities that appear to be encouraged by the leniency of sanctions.

"Corporate offences should be treated as 'serious crime,' requiring swift prosecution. This is necessary in the interest of justice,” he said.

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